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E-commerce operators may outlaw excessive returning of orders

19 October 2018 - 10:57 by Graham Miller

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A study from Brightpearl has found that 45 per cent of sites which offer safe shopping online in the UK would be in favour of excluding customers to make a lot of returns from placing orders in the future, according to Forbes.

Thirty three per cent of British outlets confirmed that there has been a spike in the number of so-called ‘serial returners’ during the last year, leaving many businesses out of pocket.

Interestingly, the more specialised retailers tend to be those which suffer the greater proportion of regular returning habits and are thus significantly more in favour of taking punitive action.

Eighty per cent of outlets which focus on selling children’s toys and clothing via safe shopping online said that they would relish the opportunity to impose restrictions on the number of returns a customer could make before being reprimanded.

Millennial consumers tend to be the most likely to order more than one product from a site in order to try out different versions and then send back the item which does not meet their expectations.

However, the problem with imposing a ban on serial returning is that it will ultimately be an infringement on the consumer rights of millions of people. So perhaps a better option would be for retailers to change their sites and services so that customers feel less inclined to adopt this type of habit.

This could include the addition of things like virtual fitting rooms, which are gaining traction at the moment and would counteract clothing returns. 

Earlier this year there were rumours that Amazon was considering a serial returner ban, but as long as this titan of the industry steers clear of such a tactic, its smaller rivals will probably avoid taking any action on their own.